A 207-page report released Monday details how the Connecticut State Police Internal Affairs unit failed to properly investigate at least 19 cases which sometimes involved criminal conduct. The 13-month investigation was conducted by the New York State Police and the Attorney General’s office. Some of the cases investigated in the report have been forwarded to the Chief State Attorney for further investigation, but at an afternoon press conference no officials would elaborate on how many state troopers may face state prosecution based on the findings in the report.
Connecticut State Police officials were also unable to say how many of the officers involved in the cases in the report were disciplined as a result of the findings. Public Safety Commissioner Leonard Boyle said some of the cases will be reinvestigated as a result of this report. The investigations highlighted in the report include allegations of bribery, theft, sexual harassment, and even drug use against state troopers. Boyle said at the beginning of the investigation there was the misconception that the Internal Affairs unit was too harsh on some troopers. In fact the report found that the opposite was true, it was too lenient, Boyle said. For instance, in one case a state trooper allegedly associated with a high roller and suspected drug trafficker at the Mohegan Sun Casino. The trooper, who was not named in the report, used to be a member of the state police casino unit, but had been transferred to another troop. The casino unit was asked to conduct an initial investigation into the allegations against the trooper and later brought in the statewide narcotics task force. The undercover operation was almost immediately compromised because undercover narcotics officers were denied high roller credentials. The primary undercover officer determined after three-weeks that without dedicating far more resources the operation was a “waste of time.” The report by NYSP concluded that despite these serious allegations against the trooper no internal affairs investigations was ever initiated. The trooper himself was never interviewed about the allegations. In this case the report concluded that the state police failed both the trooper by not giving him an opportunity to clear his name and the state by not following up on allegations a state trooper was using drugs, associating with a confirmed drug trafficker and possibly consorting with prostitutes. To read more about this case turn to page 73 of the report. Boyle said changes within the department were made as pieces of the report became available. Besides amending the administrative operations manual to eliminate the involvement of command and staff supervisors in internal investigations, now every personnel complaint will go directly to the internal affairs department, he said. But it was too soon to say whether these improvements have had an effect on the problem described by the NYSP as “systemic.”